Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,800.40, up 30.04 points):Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Up 76 cents, 5.92 per cent, to $13.59 on 8.3 million shares. Canopy says it will develop up to three million square feet of greenhouse growing capacity in British Columbia, more than doubling Canada’s biggest licensed marijuana producer’s production footprint. The company said in a statement that it has entered into a definitive joint venture agreement with a large-scale greenhouse operator where it will be a majority shareholder of BC Tweed Joint Venture Inc., a new company.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Up 10 cents, 4.44 per cent, to $2.35 on 7.04 million shares. Delta Air Lines says its deliveries of Bombardier CSeries aircraft may be delayed next year but that ultimately it won’t be forced to pay the 300 per cent preliminary duties recently announced by the U.S. Commerce Department. “We’re not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk,” CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday during a conference call about its third-quarter results.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up five cents, 1.69 per cent, to $3.00 on 5.9 million shares.Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (TSX:BIR). Oil and gas. Up six cents, 1.16 per cent, to $5.24 on 4.3 million shares.Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX:PVG). Miner. Up $2.92, 24.07 per cent, to $15.05 on 3.6 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 12 cents, or 0.84 per cent, to $14.35 on 3.6 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU). Grocer. Up 26 cents, 0.62 per cent, to $41.99 on 692,466 shares. The grocery store chain says it will eliminate about 280 jobs starting in 2021 as part of a $400-million overhaul of its Ontario distribution network. Metro says the move to modernize and automate its network will mean the loss of about 180 full-time and 100 part-time positions.Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP). E-Commerce. Down $2.64, or 2.28 per cent, to $118.40 on 1.4 million shares. Shopify’s chief executive says he’ll push back against a short-seller’s report questioning the company’s business model during the release of their next financial results. Company CEO Tobias Lutke tweeted that he looks forward to the next earnings call, expected in early November, where he’ll address the “short-selling troll” targeting Shopify.Thomson Reuters Corp. (TSX:TRI). Media. Up four cents, or 0.07 per cent, to $57.71 on 494,816 shares. The multinational information services company will spend about US$100 million to house its new technology hub at a Toronto complex that’s being built for occupation in 2021.
TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index fell sharply in a broad-based decline Monday, led by a slide in oil and gold prices, as U.S. stocks backed away from recent record highs.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 144.50 points to 16,094.72, with the energy, gold and materials sectors among major decliners.“We’re clearly seeming some selling today on the TSX,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist with Edward Jones in St. Louis. “The downside pressure in Canada, as compared to that of United States and, really, other global markets, is from the drop in oil and gold prices.”The March crude contract gave back 58 cents to US$65.56 per barrel and the February gold contract fell US$11.80 to US$1,340.30 an ounce.Meanwhile, south of the border, technology companies led Wall Street broadly lower, as shares of Apple slid two per cent amid concerns its new iPhone hasn’t been that big of a hit with customers.The Dow Jones industrial average lost 177.23 points to 26,439.48. The S&P 500 index declined 19.34 points to 2,853.53 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 39.26 points to 7,466.51.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 81.07 cents US, down 0.09 of a U.S. cent.“Probably the biggest headline today is what’s to come the rest of the week,” said Fehr, pointing to a busy week of potential market-moving corporate news and economic data coming out of the U.S..Several big-name companies are due to report quarterly results, including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google’s parent company Alphabet. About a quarter of the companies in the S&P 500 — the American equivalent to the TSX — have reported results so far this earnings season, with some 65 per cent of those exceeding financial analysts’ expectations, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.The market will also be sizing up new data on U.S. jobs, manufacturing and consumer sentiment. They’ll also be watching Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and listening for any developments out of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee that ends Wednesday.Elsewhere in commodities, the March natural gas contract was down a cent to US$3.17 per mmBTU and the March copper contract was down a cent at US$3.19 a pound.– With files from The Associated Press.
OTTAWA – The federal government’s financial adviser has raised the possibility of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board becoming involved in the Trans Mountain pipeline project but there’s been no political pressure applied, CPPIB chief executive Mark Machin told a parliamentary committee Monday.The Toronto-based fund manager and its peers will likely take a look at the stalled Trans Mountain project because there are a limited number of investment opportunities of its magnitude, but CPPIB has yet to begin a formal analysis or receive any confidential information, Machin told Commons finance committee.His testimony came less than two weeks after the government announced it would buy the project for $4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan, to ensure the pipeline will be completed, with the intent of selling it at a profit in time.Machin insisted, in answer to a question by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, that there had been no contact between CPPIB and Finance Minister Bill Morneau or any other member of the Liberal government.But Machin said that CPPIB has been approached by Greenhill & Co., a small investment bank that has been hired to advise the government on selling the Trans Mountain project.“I believe they’ve approached every — a lot of — funds domestically and internationally,” Machin said.“At this stage, we haven’t done any analysis. We’re still evaluating the situation. Obviously, we have an obligation to investigate and to assess any major investment opportunity that comes along. And to fully understand all of the risks, all of the potential returns and understand the fit for our portfolio as well.”The issue of political pressure is relevant because the CPPIB was set up in the late 1990s to be an independent manager of funds on behalf of the Canada Pension Plan, an employer and employee-funded retirement system.As of March 31, when CPPIB’s financial year ended, it managed a fund with $356.1 billion in net assets, up from $316.7 billion at the end of fiscal 2017 and $278.9 billion at the end of fiscal 2016.Morneau has predicted the Trudeau government will have no difficulty selling the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project after uncertainty about its future is resolved.The federal government’s hand was forced by B.C. Premier John Horgan, who is waging a court battle over the federally regulated pipeline, which would carry diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to a sea port near Vancouver.Machin told the finance committee that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has a mixed track record with pipelines and will use its usual approach when deciding whether to put money into Trans Mountain.In general, he said, a major factor to consider is regulatory risks — pointing out that CPPIB and its co-investors in a European pipeline were caught by surprise when the Norwegian government made a significant change in the tariff regime — or pricing structure — shortly after the deal closed.“We’ve been in legal proceedings for a number of years now,” Machin said.“That is part of the regulatory risk. It’s a really critical part of due diligence to understand regulatory risk for any infrastructure investment.”The federal government decided to buy Trans Mountain after Houston-based Kinder Morgan threatened to walk away from the pipeline expansion due to political uncertainty, particularly because Horgan’s New Democrat government said it will do everything in its legal power to stop the pipeline because of unresolved environmental concerns.Machin told the committee that the CPPIB hasn’t made a formal evaluation of Trans Mountain “purely because it’s at an early stage and we haven’t got any confidential information, or any information, to assess the situation yet.”The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan — another of Canada’s independent retirement fund managers — indicated last week that it had a financial obligation to take a look at the potential of Trans Mountain.— by David Paddon in Toronto
BERLIN — Thousands are marching in Berlin to demand that Germany make a quick exit from using coal-fired energy, a day before a U.N. climate summit opens in neighbouring Poland.Saturday’s march through Berlin’s government district and a simultaneous event in the western city of Cologne were organized by environmental groups. Many demonstrators carried flags with slogans like “Stop Coal!” and “The future is coal-free.”The summit opening Sunday in the Polish city of Katowice seeks to build on the landmark 2015 Paris accord, when countries agreed to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the century’s end.German officials had hoped to present a blueprint for phasing out Germany’s use of coal over the coming decades. But an expert committee postponed its report on that until after the U.N. conference.The Associated Press
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A Canadian company says it will enter New Jersey’s sports betting market as an affiliate of Monmouth Park Racetrack.Toronto-based theScore says it will begin offering an online and mobile sports book in mid-2019, pending approval by state regulators.The company offers digital sports experiences through its web, social and esports platforms.The announcement came the same day that the National Basketball Association announced a deal making daily fantasy sports provider and recently minted bookmaker FanDuel a gambling partner of the league.FanDuel will gain access to official NBA betting data, along with league marks and logos across FanDuel’s sports betting offerings.New Jersey’s sports betting market is growing rapidly, with $928 million worth of bets having been taken by the state’s casinos and racetracks since mid-June.Wayne Parry, The Associated Press
CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a price increase for their internet and television services, chief executive Brad Shaw said Thursday after the company’s annual meeting in Calgary.Shaw’s chief competitor in Western Canada, Telus Corp., has already announced price increases that will take effect Feb. 25.Shaw told reporters that the details of the cable, internet and wireless company’s price increases haven’t been decided but they will most likely take effect in April.He said the cost of getting rights to sports programing is getting higher for Shaw and other Canadian television service providers, even though audiences are falling.“It’s a real concern,” Shaw said. “How are Canadian companies even going to be able to compete?”He said that Shaw doesn’t get special treatment from Toronto-based Corus Entertainment — a publicly traded company that’s partly owned by the Shaw family and Shaw Communications.Corus owns more than 40 specialty television channels, some acquired along with the Global television network that it acquired from Shaw in April 2016.“Even though they’re both family controlled, the family really says (they’ve) got to stand on (their) own,” Shaw said.He said Corus has had a “fight on its hands” because of competition with other forms of entertainment, such as Netflix, but added that its most recent quarter was promising.Corus reported last week that its overall revenue for the quarter ended Nov. 30 totalled $467.5 million, up from $457.4 million and above the estimate of $451.2 million. Its television division had the biggest revenue increase, rising to $426.2 million from $415.5 million a year earlier.Despite the higher first-quarter revenue, Corus profit attributable to shareholders fell to $60.4 million, from $77.7 million a year earlier, partly because of its accounting for a revaluing of a TV brand that will be retired and replaced this year.Shaw Communications, on the other hand, beat analyst estimates for both profit and revenue over the same period — mainly because of its Freedom Mobile wireless division. Its main cable and internet business, however, saw virtually no revenue growth as it lost video subscribers and home phone customers.However, the profit margin at Shaw’s wireline residential services was up significantly from last year’s first quarter as management focused on optimizing its consumer business’ by removing costs where possible.A year ago, Shaw Communications announced a major employee buyout program aimed primarily at its residential consumer business, as part of adopting to a new generation of network technology using the Comcast X1 platform.Brad Shaw told reporters Thursday that it was “absolutely the right move” given the company’s need to be agile and more automated but added that the loss of 3,000 people “it’s a little bit emotional.”— by David Paddon in Toronto Companies in this story: (TSX:SJR.B, TSX:CJR.B)The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER, B.C. – In a new report published by BC Hydro, four out of 10 B.C. couples argue over the temperature in the household.Findings from their report titled ‘Thermostat wars: How the battle over household temperatures is turning up the heat on relationships’ are that as common as it is for couples across the province to argue about temperature, five percent of couples describe their situation as an “all-out thermostat war.”BC Hydro found out with a survey they commissioned, that British Columbian couples will go to great lengths to get their way when it comes to the temperature of their home. Twice as many couples are motived by comfort than cost savings. The survey included that more than 60 percent of people admitted to adjusting the thermostat when their partner was not looking and 50 percent say they have waited for their partner to leave the home before adjusting the dial. There is also the 20 percent that admits to turning the temperature up or down just to annoy their partner.Also revealed in the survey was what temperature the thermostat is set at as being one of the most contentious household arguments, this being ahead of who is cooking dinner, what time the dreaded morning alarm is set for, and who forgot to turn off the lights when they left the house.However, many of these arguments are often based around misconceptions, for example;Cranking up the thermostat does not heat the home up faster than turning it up a degree or two at a time.It is not more energy-efficient to keep the thermostat at a constant temperature instead of adjusting it based on the time of day or what activity is going on in the home.Turning on a space heater is not always a more energy-efficient way to keep warm.BC Hydro is encouraging British Columbian couples with Valentine’s around the corner to call an end to the thermostat war. It recommends setting the thermostat at 21 degrees Celsius when relaxing or watching T.V., 18 degrees Celsius when cooking or doing housework, and 16 degrees Celsius when away from home or sleeping.Other tips to reduce heating costs and stay comfortable this winter include:Using a programmable or smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature of the home based on the time of day.Installing weatherstripping around doors and windows to seal up gaps and cracks that let cold air into the home and warm air out – and lead to higher heating costs.Using BC Hydro’s electricity tracking tools to see how adjusting the thermostat can impact a household’s electricity use and costs.
Varanasi (UP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday claimed that “non-cooperation” by the previous Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh was responsible for the delay in start of a beautification project in his Lok Sabha constituency. He was addressing a gathering here after laying the foundation stone for the Kashi Vishwanath Temple’s approach road and its beautification. “In the first three years there was non-cooperation of the state government. The developmental projects here picked pace after you (people of Uttar Pradesh) made Yogi Adityanath the chief minister,” he said. “Had there been cooperation earlier, we would have launched the project instead of laying the foundation,” Modi said. Attacking previous governments, the prime minister said, “In the past 70 years no government thought of Baba (Lord Shiva) and were silent. They took care of themselves but not of this place.” Noting that it was his “pleasure” to have initiated the work at Kashi Vishwanath, he said, “I have dreamt for a long time to work for this place. When I was not in politics I came here several times and used to think that something should happen here.” “Bhole Baba ney tai kiya hoga baatein bahut karte ho yahan aao kuch karke dikhao,” (Lord Shiva must have decided that you talk much, so now you should come here and do something),” he said, adding that due to the blessings the fulfillment of his dream has started. After offering prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple, he said that he was blessed to be associated with the project of Kashi Vishwanath Dham. About the beautification project, Modi said this is “mukti (freedom) for Kashi Vishwanath Dham” which was surrounded with encroachment. He said the Kashi Vishwanath Temple has survived the vicissitudes of centuries and praised Queen Ahiyabai Holkar for her work on the shrine over two centuries ago. He said not much thought had been given by those in power to the area around the temple. “For the first time, we acquired nearby buildings, removed encroachments after which 40 ancient temples came to the fore. Many of them were encroached, kitchens were set up and people were living there,” he said. Modi said the entire temple complex is now in the process of rejuvenation and the results are becoming visible, with a direct link being established between the Ganga river and Kashi Vishwanath temple. He said this project will become a model for similar projects elsewhere and give a new global identity to Kashi. The prime minister not only complimented the officers involved with the project for performing their task with devotion, but also thanked all the people who had property around the temple and allowed its acquisition for the project. It was difficult to take people into confidence to give their properties and ensure the project does not take political colour, he said. “I thank people of Kashi, who gave their properties for Baba. This is the biggest ‘daan’ they have given for Baba,” the prime minister said. “I have seen a lot of government employees as I was CM for a long time. But I want to say with pride that the team of officers deployed here by Yogi ji is doing work with ‘Bhakti’ (devotion) and ‘sewa bhav’,” Modi said. Stating that the Kashi Vishwanath temple was “targeted by enemies”, he said they tried to destroy it but it again took “rebirth due to the faith” of people. “When Gandhiji came here, he was pained why is this place is like this. In his address in the BHU, he expressed his thoughts,” Modi said, suggesting the university should make a case study of the project so that when it is completed the world can know how it happened. “We will also try to trace the history of the 40 temples discovered here and the government will also take care of them,” the PM said, adding the project will be a model for “protection and preservation” of temples and a combination of modern technology with ancient faith. “It will give new identity to Kashi in the world. Maybe it’s in my fate. In 2014, when I came here I said ‘mai aaya nahi mujhe bulaya hai’ (I did not come here on my own, I was summoned). Maybe I came here for this work,” he said. Earlier, the prime minister visited the Kashi Vishwanath temple and also inspected the project site. During his brief stay in his constituency, Modi attended the National Women Livelihood Meet 2019 at Deendayal Hastkala Sankul and distributed appreciation letters to five Women Self Help Groups, whose members shared their experiences with the prime minister. Women SHGs aided by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – NRLM, Uttar Pradesh handed over a cheque to the prime minister for contribution to the ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ Fund. Addressing a gathering at National Women Livelihood Meet, Modi said he could carry out development projects now that “middleman and corruption have been abolished and every penny is spent on people”. “Now there are no middleman and corruption. Modi did not have to take anything for himself. If he takes, what will he do…125 crore people of the country are my family. Keep trusting me,” he said. Listing the schemes launched by his government for women, Modi said these were playing an important role in the making of a new India.
Houston: The Indian-American foster mother of Sherin Mathews has got her passport back, nearly a week after charges were dropped against her in connection with the tragic death of her 3-year-old daughter, whose body was discovered in a culvert in suburban Dallas in 2017. Sini Mathews was charged with child endangerment after she left her adoptive daughter Sherin alone at home while she and her husband Wesley Mathews went out for dinner with their 4-four-year old biological daughter on the night before the toddler was reported missing from their house in Richardson, Texas. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingSini had been jailed on a child abandonment charge, but the charge was dismissed after the district attorney said there was not enough evidence to move forward and released her from the Dallas County Jail. On Thursday, a Dallas judge ordered authorities to return Sini’s passport, WBAP, an AM News/Talk radio station in Dallas reported. Defence attorney Heath Harris said the judge had little choice but to return the passport which was taken when Sini was arrested. He said Sini had no plans to go anywhere, but can do so if she chooses so. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang”I am blessed,” Sini, a nurse, said after the charges against her were dropped and told the media that she was looking forward to meeting her biological daughter. “I want to thank the DA’s office for dismissing the case and I am looking forward to being reunited with my daughter,” Sini said. She had lost parental rights to her biological daughter who has been adopted by her relatives in Houston. Lawyers are now reviewing options to possibly return her to her mother, Sini, the WBAP report said. Sini’s husband Wesley is still in Dallas County Jail for capital murder linked to Sherin’s death. He will face trial in May this year and is presently being held on a USD 1.1 million bond. Sini and Wesley, who hail from Kerala, adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar in July 2016. After Sherin disappeared, Wesley had first claimed that he had punished her by making her stand outside their home at 3 am for not drinking her milk. After Sherin’s body was found in a culvert a kilometre from their home in October, 2017, Wesley then changed his version to he had tried to feed her the milk and that she choked on it. Wesley was indicted for capital murder by a grand jury and for tampering with evidence. Wesley, if convicted, could face the death penalty or an automatic sentence of life without parole.
New Delhi: It enthralled children with stories of Indian mythology for decades while narrating virtues of good deeds, but the ‘Chandamama’ magazine’s new owners are now in the dock for allegedly stashing illicit funds in Swiss banks. Mumbai-based Geodesic Ltd, which acquired the iconic magazine in 2007, and its three directors are being probed by the Indian authorities for alleged money laundering and other financial irregularities and Switzerland has agreed to provide “administrative assistance” regarding their accounts in Swiss banks, which broadly means sharing of information with India. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepSwitzerland was widely known as an alleged safe haven for black money before it bowed down before the global pressure and agreed to bring down the famed secrecy walls that had historically surrounded the Swiss banks, provided the requesting country gave proof for financial irregularities done by the concerned person or the company. Along with several other countries, India has also been making use of this change in stance of Switzerland by seeking details of suspected black money hoarders in Swiss banks and it has already got back information in a large number of cases in the last few years. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIn a decision dated March 5, Switzerland’s Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has decided to grant “administrative assistance to India in respect of Geodesic Ltd and its three directors — Prashant Sharad Mulekar, Pankajkumar Onkar Srivastava and Kiran Kulkarni, according to the official documents. As per the Swiss law, the FTA decision can be appealed within 30 days, provided the appellant is able to give sufficient ground to challenge it. Earlier on October 30, 2018, also, the FTA had decided to provide the administrative assistance in respect of Geodesic Ltd and the three individuals. While that decision is appeared to have been challenged, the FTA has again decided to share the details with the Indian authorities, indicating that the earlier appeal could not sustain. In a similar case, the FTA also decided on March 5 to provide administrative assistance’ to India in case of a Chennai-based entity, Aadhi Enterprises Pvt Ltd. This decision can also be appealed within 30 days. An earlier decision was taken by the FTA on October 16 to assist Indian authorities in this case, but now a fresh notification has been issued for providing administrative assistance to India in case of this real estate firm which saw a meteoric rise soon after being incorporated in November 2014 and is said to have got significant political links. Geodesic, on the other hand, used to be a publicly-listed entity and has already faced the wrath of capital markets regulator Sebi for multiple violations. Its shares have not been trading since August 2014 when its share price had dipped to as low as Rs 1.50 apiece. While the Swiss government documents did not disclose specific details related to the information and assistance sought by the Indian authorities regarding the two companies and the three individuals, such an ‘administrative assistance’ follows submission of proof about financial and tax-related wrongdoings and typically involves sharing of information relating to bank account details and other financial data. Repeated attempts to contact the two companies and the three individuals for their comments failed to yield any result. In the past, they have denied any wrongdoing. The 1982-incorporated Geodesic, once known as a fast-growing company with cutting-edge technology solutions, does not have a functional website anymore and is also no longer a listed entity as trading in its shares has been suspended by stock exchanges for “procedural reasons”. The company and its directors have faced regulatory action by Sebi as well as other authorities like the Enforcement Directorate and the Economic Offence Wing of the Mumbai Police. Aadhi Enterprises had reportedly landed in trouble due to alleged links to tainted politicians and for allegedly indulging in money laundering. According to reports, the Income Tax Department has conducted multiple raids on properties of the company’s promoters. While Switzerland has always denied being a safe haven for black money, it has begun sharing details for last few years with several countries including India after submission of evidence about financial and tax-related wrongdoings of the clients of Swiss banks. Besides, a new framework of automatic information exchange has been now put in place and the details can be accessed under the new system from this year.
Mumbai: Workload management of pacer Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be the main focus when Mumbai Indians take on a rechristened Delhi Capitals in their first match of the 12th Indian Premier League here Sunday.Pandya has had two breakdowns in the last six months. A recurring back-injury first ruled him out of the Asia Cup in last September before missing the home series against Australia. Even former India pacer Zaheer Khan, who is Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket, felt Pandya’s workload should be monitored since he has had recurring lower back injuries. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”He (Hardik) has to be monitored. He’s in consultation with the team of support staff. Everything is under control,” Zaheer had said earlier this week. Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma too feels that with the World Cup round the corner, the onus is on individuals to manage their workload in the IPL. “We have been on the road for last three or four years. We have played a lot of back-to-back cricket. It depends on individuals. You should always listen to your body,” Rohit had said. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterBumrah is another player who will be closely monitored by the Indian team management in the IPL. Also it would be interesting to see how Mumbai Indians’ manage Bumrah’s workload, especially after veteran Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga will miss the first six games for the franchise. Elsewhere, Rohit’s performance will also be keenly observed as he is expected to open in the World Cup. Besides, the three-time IPL winners have added legendary Yuvraj Singh to their squad, which already has a few big-hitters in Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Suryakumar Yadav to name a few. On the pace front, Barinder Sran, Mitchell McClenaghan can be considered, while Krunal Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Anukul Roy, Rahul Chahar and rising star Mayank Markande provide Mumbai ample spin options. Delhi Capitals, who have changed their name from Delhi Daredevils, have Shikhar Dhawan in their armoury and the lefty-hander would be keen to get runs in the before the World Cup. Also a good outing for young players like Shreyas Iyer and stumper Rishabh Pant will bolster their World Cup chances. Delhi also boasts of Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Karla and experienced campaigners like Colin Munro and Chris Morris, who can give stability to the team. With the likes of Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma, Kasigo Rabada and Nathu Singh on board, Delhi’s bowling attack looks a potent force. Teams (from): Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Jason Behrendorff, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Ben Cutting, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Lasith Malinga, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Salam, Yuvraj Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Barinder Sran, Aditya Tare, Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav and Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper). Delhi Capitals: Colin Ingram, Manjot Karla, Prithvi Shaw, Sherfane Rutherford, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Bandaru Ayyappa, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kasigo Rabada, Nathu Singh, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Axar Patel, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Hanuma Vihari, Jalaj Saxena, Keemo Paul, Rahul Tewatia, Ankush Bains and Rishabh Pant. Match starts at 8 pm.
Mumbai: The release of “PM Narendra Modi”, a biopic on the prime minister, has been pushed indefinitely, its producer Sandip Singh said on Thursday, a day before the film was scheduled to be screened in theatres across the country.Sources in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) said the film is yet to get a clearance. The film was initially set to release on April 12, but producers had advanced it by a week, claiming “public demand”. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”This is to confirm, our film ‘PM Narendra Modi’ is not releasing on 5th April. Will update soon,” Singh posted on Twitter on Thursday. Though he did not clarify further, censor board sources said the process of getting CBFC certification is still underway. “The film has not been granted certification. It is still under process,” a source from the censor board said. The film, fronted by Vivek Oberoi and directed by “Mary Kom” maker Omung Kumar, was in the news with various political parties saying that releasing it less than a week before the general elections begin is a violation of the model code of conduct. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe Congress made a formal complaint to the Election Commission over the release of the film. Sources in the poll panel said on Wednesday that it is unlikely to prevent the release of the film and may leave it to the CBFC to take a call on the issue. Opposition parties, including the Congress, said the film would give undue advantage to the BJP in electioneering, and its release should be deferred till the elections are over. The project is also facing legal hurdles with a Congress leader filing a PIL in the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on its release. The court will hear the plea on Monday. The biopic ran into trouble over credits as well. Lyricists Javed Akhtar and Sameer said they were credited without contributing to the project. The producer, however, countered their claims, saying their old songs were reworked, so they gave credit where due.
Darjeeling: The Directorate of Revenue intelligence (DRI) busted a major smuggling racket of gold from Myanmar through Moreh in Manipur. Six persons were arrested from near Siliguri and more than 24 kg of gold, valued close to Rs 8 crore was recovered from them.Acting on a tip-off DRI sleuths from the Siliguri regional unit intercepted a bus and arrested 6 persons. Twenty pieces each of 1kg gold bar along with 25 pieces of gold biscuits each weighing 166 gm was recovered from their possession. The seizure is valued at around Rs 7.99 crore. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe six arrested persons — Mohammad Numan, Mohammad Lukuman, hafiz Misbahuddin, Md. Zamil Ahmed. Md. Dawood Akhtar and MM Washim Khan —were travelling by bus from Manipur to Siliguri via Cooch Behar on Monday. The seized gold had been smuggled into India from Myanmar through Moreh in Manipur. The accused are residents of Manipur and are involved in gold smuggling. During the last financial year, DRI seized 464 kg of gold from Bengal and Sikkim area allegedly smuggled in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China. The recovered gold is valued at Rs. 145.69 crore in the 46 cases registered claimed a DRI release.
Casablanca – Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have developed a device that is able to scan and read a text on a screen or a page, mainly to assist blind people. The so-called “FingerReader” is a device that contains a small camera and can be worn on an index finger. It reads aloud the given text through a synthesized voice.Its goal is to read print materials as well as onscreen text to the blind, but it still has certain issues with touchscreens since text is moved around and therefore cannot be as accurate. Furthermore, the main job of FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3D printer, is to read texts such as menu cards, books and so on in real time. It can also be used to learn a new language, since it offers options such as translation and pronunciation. All of these features will give blind people more access to printed materials and better learning and productivity in their daily lives.Certainly, this invention does not replace Braille, a writing system used by visually impaired people, but it would enable blind people to gain a wider access to a vast number of books, newspapers, magazines and so forth that are not yet available in Braille.But, even though the FingerReader has undergone three long years of experimentation through code software and group feedback, it still needs some fine-tuning before it will be ready for sale.
Rabat – Thanks to the efforts of the Moroccan security services, Morocco stands out as a “safe haven” in North Africa, “immune” from terrorist attacks, according to The Times.In a recent article about Morocco published by The Times, the British newspaper hailed the efforts of the Moroccan authorities and their vigilance in keeping the Kingdom safe and secure from the threats of the so-called “Islamic States” that targeted some of the North African countries.“Morocco, a tourist destination for Europeans, remained immune against the convulsions experienced by other countries in the region,” The Times said in an article devoted to the Kingdom. The Times added that intense efforts by the Moroccan security services have recently dismantled terrorist cells in morocco recruited by the so-called “Islamic State”.The same source quoted Mustapha El Khalfi, Minister of Communication and government spokesman, as saying that “no terrorist network can develop in Morocco because the authorities would dismantle it before it could implement its schemes.”The Times also points out that the tourism sector in Morocco has increased by 8 percent since 2010 and is positioned as one of the largest industries in the Kingdom with a contribution of 9 percent of the GDP.It added that over 500,000 British citizens visited Morocco each year.Last summer, Morocco launched a new security mechanism known as “Hadar”, created to counter security threats facing the Kingdom, in most of the Kingdom’s major cities and tourist hubs.Thanks to “Hadar,” and the newly created Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), an FBI-like Bureau of Investigations, the Moroccan Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad said earlier that the Kingdom had dismantled twenty-seven jihadist cells since 2013.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
United Nations – The United Nations Security Council adopted on Friday its annual resolution on the renewal of the United Nations Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in Western Sahara, known as MINURSO. In the resolution, which received the yes of 10 members, two against and three abstentions, the UN Security Council highlighted Morocco’s achievements in human rights, notably through the National Human Rights Council (French acronym CNDH) and its branches in Laayoune and Dakhla, as well as the interaction of the Kingdom with the special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council.In its Resolution No. 2285, adopted by the majority of UN Security Council members extending the MINURSO mandate for one year until 30 April 2017, the Security Council hails the latest measures and initiatives taken by Morocco, and the role of the branches of the National Human Rights Council in Laayoune and Dakhla. The fifteen members of the UN Security Council also highlights “Morocco’s interaction with the special procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council”, stressing the need to “register” the populations in Tindouf camps, southwest Algeria. The UN executive body also called for making “efforts in this regard.”The UNSC recalls its endorsement of the recommendation in the report of 14 April 2008 that realism and a spirit of compromise by the parties are essential to achieve progress in negotiations.The Council also calls upon the parties to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to enter into a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations.
Casablanca — In a statement published today by Royal Air Maroc, the company informs its clients that flights to Dakhla are cancelled today due to unfavorable meteorological conditions. “The National Meteorology Services has detected sand storms in the Ouad Eddahab region, which prevent the taking off and landing of planes at Dakhla’s Airport,” the statement says. “The cancellation of flights comes as a result of the degradation of meteorological conditions since last Sunday, leading to the suspension of flights scheduled these last two days,” the statement continues. In its communiqué, Royal Air Maroc further apologizes to its clients and offers to reimburse or rebook their flights to a later date within the following two weeks.
Rabat – A petition addressed to the Embassy of Morocco in London, calls for an investigation into the alleged rape and sexual abuse of a Moroccan teenager by a former British MP.The petition, which was sent Morocco World News on Saturday, was also addressed the Moroccan Minister of Justice Ramid, the British Embassy in Rabat, the British Consulate General in Casablanca and the British Honorary Consulate in Agadir.It calls for an investigation into a case of alleged rape and sexual abuse against a Moroccan boy by a former Member of the British Parliament Keith Harvey Proctor. The incident dates back to 1987 when the British MP was in the city of Agadir. He was caught in room 101 of what is now known as the Odyssey Park hotel but was then called the Ali Baba hotel, with a naked 15-year-old Moroccan boy.The petition indicates that the incident in Morocco is not the only scandal the 69-year-old British MP was implicated in. “Two separate victims have stated that they saw Mr. Proctor take part in child sexual abuse gatherings in the United Kingdom.”Referring to the incident in Agadir, the petition also uses an excerpt from the Daily Mail that states:“The [Daily] Mail goes back to the hotel where 28 years ago, Harvey Proctor was found with an underage boy in his hotel room whilst on holiday in Morocco. Inside room 101, at what is now the Odyssey Park Hotel but was [then] the Ali Baba in Agadir, Morocco. This is the room where Proctor was found with the underage boy. The picture was taken with the permission of the hotel.”The petition concludes with a request to “respectfully call on” Moroccan authorities to conduct an investigation in to the subject matter against the alleged rapist.
Rabat – The number of international tourists visiting Agadir in April reached 98,683 (21.70 percent) compared to 81,086 during the same period last year, according to Regional Tourism Council of Agadir Souss-Massa-Draa (CRT). The same source explained that 301,171 tourists visited the city in the first four months of 2017, adding that the classified hotels registered a total of 62,570 ( 19,19 percent )overnight stays.“The tourist destination of Agadir is on an upward trend because of the long-term measures undertaken by the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT), the CRT of Agadir Souss Massa, tourism experts and the authorities of Agadir,” explaine thed CRT. This increase was underpinned by the surge of French tourists visiting Morocco. About 40,180 French tourists have visited Agadir during the first four months of 2017. The city has also registered 27,441 visitors from England and 46,303 from Germany. Despite the surge of foreign travelers, domestic tourists still top the list of Agadir’s visitors. According to the CRT, Morocco’s tourism domestic market ranked first with 99,030 visitors, having grown by 13.86 percent. The French market continued to grow and ranked second with 21.6 percentand a volume of 49,180 tourists, the German market is ranked third with an increase of 63.5 percent. The Ministry of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy said in a communiqué on May 3 that the total number of tourists who visited Morocco in March was 762,562, an increase of 3.7 percent compared to the same.